It’s been rather nippy/chilly/bleeding freezing out there this week – delete as necessary – and the cold looks set to continue well into next week. That’s been as good excuse as any to huddle up inside and play games instead of any foolhardy outdoor activities like, I don’t know, training for a triathlon or something. I’ve not been doing that because I’m relatively sensible.
This week, I got to share my thoughts and impressions from the opening few hours of Atomic Heart, which is an intriguing mash up of ideas in a Soviet theme. My downtime has continued to feature Halo Infinite, but I’ve also partnered with Dom to play We Were Here Forever. We’d actually played several chapters of this walkie-talkie puzzler when it first came out last year, but have started over, leading to a mixture of knowing exactly what to do and mild befuddlement at not remembering.
After the last two weeks or ordering What We Played by first name and then last name, you might have expected me to be prepared enough to ask everyone for their middle names this time round. I was not, and so I have instead (unbeknownst to them) initiated combat rolled initiative on their behalf!
With a tasty roll of 16, Aran gets to go first. He’s been really enjoying God of War: Ragnarök this week, and next week you’ll get to hear what he thinks of Square Enix’s upcoming action RPG Forspoken. But wait! He wasn’t the only one for whom Random.org doled out a 16 – He was tied with Gamoc, who mostly played Cyberpunk 2077, with a “splash” of PGA Tour 2K23, because apparently he forgot that you’re not meant to go in the water in golf.
We drop all the way down to the single digits for everyone else, and we’ve got a pair of lovely anime and JRPG weebs on our hands, tied on a roll of 8. Miguel’s been playing “lots of anime game silliness”, that includes Neptunia: Sisters VS Sisters, Dragon Quest Treasures, and Valkyria Chronicles 4, and Reu’s had a JRPG week, starting both Triangle Strategy and Tales of Arise – “The former hasn’t grabbed me fully yet, but I think I’m still in the early/tutorial sections. Tales, however, is absolutely amazing from the outset and I’m annoyed I didn’t get around to it sooner.”
All on his lonesome with a 7 is Steve, who’s wrapped up four of the stories on Octopath Traveller, and has had SpongeBob SquarePants; Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated on the go in preparation for the new game coming at the end of the month. He’s also very close to having successfully transformed his Steam Deck into a portable gaming library and archive.
Coming in with a number 6, Tuffcub has been playing Destiny 2 (of course) and some Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – “I hated the constant child shouting things. If I wanted that I’d have kids.”
And now we come to an inseparable trio, all with a roll of 5. Ordinarily, as with the other ties, I’d allow them to choose their own order or pick some kind of character stats as a deciding factor, but I don’t have their character sheets handy, so I’m going to go on word count. Ade’s response was the pithiest, enjoying Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, which he snagged in the PS Store’s New Year Sale, and “what a cracker of a strategy game it is!”
Nick P has been on a Resident Evil binge, grabbing the platinum of the HD remaster of the original game and starting on Resident Evil Zero… and playing Dead by Daylight.
And then Nic B came along with lots of words that I’ll cut down to size. He previewed Tchia for us with its interesting soul throwing mechanic, and spent the week losing a lot at Marvel Snap – he dropped a whole 10 ranks at one point!
Just behind that gaggle with a 4 was Dom, who joined me for those We Were Here Forever sessions. He’s also been playing plenty more of Fire Emblem Engage, but has also had a bit of a funny turn this week:
I have made a great discovery. Forget playing brand-new games! You can buy a brand new Xbox 360 off eBay for the price of one PS5 game, and then a bunch of exclusive games for 99p! Yes, there might be a lot of brown and grey in the colour palette (and let me tell you those games are definitely uglier than you remember), but I’m having a lot of fun discovering what’s good all over again.
After watching Avatar 2 two times and before the new Avatar game comes out, I’ve been playing Avatar the Game – it’s fine, and offers a decent taste of the world of Pandora. It’s not too brown or grey either. Alongside Avatar, I’ve been playing another movie license in the shape of Battle for Middle Earth 2, which has a terrible frame rate, but offers the chance to have a giant army of elves, so I’m willing to accept it.
I’ve helpfully suggested to him that he should do an Xbox 360 generation replay, starting with only launch games and working his way through the console’s catalogue over the next seven years.
And finally, with Random.org rolling him a critical failure, we have Jim. Filling the gaps between games with marvel Snap, he finally managed to finish off Final Fantasy X and started a new playthrough of Final Fantasy IX on Switch. “It’s an entry in the series that has always resonated with me though, in truth, it has been almost 20 years since I last picked it up. So far I’m enjoying being reintroduced to the characters and setting – will be a nice slow burn playthrough while I wait for news of a remake.”
And now, before we head back to the top of the combat order, we come to you, dear readers. What did you play this week?